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Remixing popular culture and Penguin Books covers

A collage of famous Penguin Book covers.
Feature photo courtesy kate hiscock / Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Sometimes it’s fun to create something new that is inspired by something old—like presenting an idea using the iconic style of a Penguin/Pelican Book cover.

Earlier today, my colleagues were talking about general use and upkeep of a collaborative/brainstorming space we call the “idea room” (it’s one of our top secret places where all the best digital communication ideas are born). The discussion was taking place on the staff e-mail list and had generated a lot of useful tips. I wondered, “what if we compiled these tips into a book” and remembered perusing an anthology of Penguin book covers at the library the previous weekend.

I did a quick Google image search to review the overall style of classic Penguin covers—if you are going to create something to share with friends it (of course) needs to look authentic.

The result was a lovely new book cover that received a few chuckles. The cool scientist icon was found via the Noun Project.

A Penguin books inspired cover design for the Idea Room.

Along the way I noticed that there were a lot of fun, creative designs that riffed on the Penguin book cover meme.

“License to Ill” Penguin-tyle

Cover of The Beastie Boys: License to Ill redesigned by Huw Gwilliam

Huw Gwilliam is the clever artist behind this version of “License to Ill” by The Beastie Boys done up in the lovely Penguin style. Huw’s work has been featured in B3ta, Wired, GQ, Design Week, and The Guardian. You can view 66 more album designs in Huw’s cover versions Flickr gallery.

“Harry Potter” book covers

Penguin-style cover of Harry Potter.

M.S. Corley, a Washington-based designer, conjured up a similar Penguin-inspired remix for his redesign of all seven covers of the Harry Potter series.

Saul Bass meets Video Games Penguin Style

The style has also been applied by Olly Moss to several popular video games with the addition of lovely Saul Bass inspired illustration/mashups. Check out more of Olly’s work on Flickr.

Metal Gear Solid
Grand Theft Auto IV